OpenFeature feature flag project applies for CNCF sandbox project status


A consortium led by Dynatrace has submitted OpenFeature to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) for consideration as a sandbox project.

The observability software specialist is developing the open source feature flag standard in partnership with LaunchDarkly, GitLab, Split, Flagsmith, CloudBees, and others.

Feature flagging has emerged as a key enabler for effective continuous software delivery, devops and site reliability engineering (SRE) practices by enabling developers to toggle certain application functionality on and off at runtime, without deploying new code.

The technique and tooling has also matured recently to enable more granular feature flagging to test functionality on certain user cohorts, or even as a way to troubleshoot issues by disabling certain functionality at runtime.

“Feature flagging is gaining traction right now with this wide variety of use cases and the ability to granularly control feature deployment,” said Alois Reitbauer, chief product officer for cloud automation at Dynatrace.

Done right, this allows developers to more effectively test new functionality and avoid introducing bugs. Done badly, it can bring chaos as different teams have to configure and juggle different feature flagging libraries and tools.

OpenFeature aims to provide a unified API and SDK, starting with Java, JavaScript and Go, which will enable developers to have a consistent standard for feature flags and then layer on their favorite tool, be it LaunchDarkly, Optimizely or other popular feature management options.

“Establishing this OpenFeature standard will allow teams to adopt the best solution more easily, without introducing new integration requirements,” Daniel O’Brien, ecosystem engineer at LaunchDarkly said in a statement.

By being open and extensible, OpenFeature wants to follow in the footsteps of the fast-growing OpenTelemetry project, which is starting to establish itself as an open standard for metrics, logs and traces. Dynatrace is also a key contributor to OpenTelemetry.

The OpenFeature project will now wait to see if it is accepted by the CNCF as a sandbox project and is aiming for a 1.0 general availability release by fall this year.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.


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